This was Joel and Jacqui's escape to the European summer in 2008. It was a multi-pronged affair, involving a visit by Joel to the Bruker factories in Germany and Switzerland (in conjunction with our recent purchase of a $3M 800-MHz NMR spectrometer), a conference in Dubrovnik at which Jacqui was speaking (and Joel was tagging along at), and a holiday in Croatia.

Originally, for our holiday, we were thinking of walking in the Julian Alps in Slovenia, which are supposed to be rather nice, but we decided that the special thing about that part of the world was the Adriatic coastline, so thought we should make the most of that. We ended up combining a couple of days of sea kayaking with a bit of a drive up the coast (from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, where our flight departed from), and 4 days or so of walking in three different national parks (courtesy of a hire car to make life easier!). The Lonely Planet "Croatia" book was an invaluable general guide to things - it certainly doesn't cover everything, but it is a pretty good reference to work from - especially when you are inventing your itinerary as you go, like we were!

We didnt' get off to a very auspicious start unfortunately. I was supposed to meet Jacqui at the conference after going over early for the Bruker tour, but her flight over tragically coincided with industrial action by QANTAS engineers, so her flight ended up being delayed 18 h. She was then delayed further in Frankfurt for another 18 h, because the connection to Dubrovnik didn't work any more, so it wasn't a good start. Fortunately, that seemed to get all of our misfortune out of the way early, and we had superb weather and scenery for the trip and everything else seemed to work very smoothly...